The holidays are a time of celebration and reflection. There is perhaps no other time when we are more aware of ourselves and our relationship to others. If we are alone, we are even more aware of our aloneness. If we are surrounded by family and friends their sameness and otherness is suddenly more apparent. There is also the money, and the planning, and the rushing around to get things done; the cleaning, the shopping, the making. And all of this can stress us out. We spend too much money and too much time filling the spaces we perceive to be between us and a sense of fulfillment. The next thing you know we are irritated, exhausted, broke, and unhappy. Our immune system weakens, we get sick, and we wonder what the holidays are really all about.
Let’s do things differently this time. Let’s plan for success. Stress-free holidays are real and they can be yours with just a little bit of Meditation, Mindfulness, and Money Management.
- Meditate – Right now while you are reading this article be aware of the next breath you take. Focus on where it enters and where it exits. As you breathe in, let your diaphragm expand. As you breathe out, let your diaphragm compress. This form of meditation allows you to be fully present and ready to open your imagination, create solutions, and accept challenges with an attitude of optimism
- Mindfulness – Take note of your current physical, fiscal, and emotional capacity. Then take note of your expectations and desires. Be aware of what you think others are expecting of you and notice to what degree you are willing to meet those expectations.
- Manage Your Money – Plan ahead for the extra spending this holiday season means for you. Look at your income and savings with open eyes and make a determination about purchasing limits and the use of credit cards. Create a written contract with yourself specifying budget limits for each area such as supplies, gifts, food, clothing, and gasoline. Sign it and put it with your other important documents.
When you feel yourself getting stressed, use these guaranteed stress-busters:
- Practice your spiritual rituals and trust that they will have a positive effect on you and those around you.
- Take a walk before and after you gather with others and look at the things around you as if you are seeing them for the first time; the sky, the earth, trees, rocks, architecture, technology, that which is nature-made, and that which is made by man all contain something beautiful and worthy of appreciation.
- Find a handful of things to be grateful for. No matter how magnanimous or how seemingly insignificant, expressions of gratitude can calm us down and lift us up.
- Light a candle for those less fortunate than you. Make a wish or prayer for their sake and enjoy the glow of the candle with a cup of tea or tall glass of water.
- Enjoy your favorite fragrance or scents for some aromatherapy.
- Fantasize about your favorite places, people, and things. What you think about, you bring about!
- Grab a quick workout and burn off the tension building up inside you before it overtakes you.
Krista, Your Dream Life Coach